Are the Chiefs set for a Super Bowl appearance?

The Cincinnati Bengals defeated the Chiefs in the AFC Championship game during the 2021 playoffs. Did the team’s latest offseason moves set them up to go all the way this year?

Major Changes

This offseason the Kansas City Chiefs went through some major changes on both sides of the football. Arguably the biggest playmakers on the team departed this offseason. There is no doubt that these losses will be felt during the season, but did Kansas City do a good enough job covering up the holes?

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Offense

On the offensive side of the football, the Chiefs lost the presumed fastest receiver in the league in Tyreek Hill. Hill’s impact on the offense was a key part of the playbook and scheme. Not only did he force the defense to choose to double-team him or Travis Kelce but he was also a big play waiting to happen.

To offset the loss of Hill, the Chiefs made many offseason moves in the draft and in free agency. Kansas City selected wide receiver Skyy Moore out of Western Michigan to add depth and future production to the team. Free agency is where the Chiefs decided to add the major contributors to the new-look receiving core. They first signed JuJu Smith-Schuster to take Hill’s role as the primary receiver. Shortly after they signed an emerging Marquez Valdes-Scantling to their roster. Even though the Chiefs’ lost major star power, with these additions to the existing roster it’s arguable that this is the deepest receiving core that the team has had in recent memory. This may be the reason for Kansas City’s offense to be as dangerous as ever. Patrick Mahomes can now have a full rotation of receivers that he can trust in key situations.

Defense

The loss of Tyrann Mathieu can be a huge setback for this defense. The Chiefs’ secondary was already struggling in 2021 and Mathieu was their best defender. Kansas City was not scared to address their secondary in the offseason.

In the NFL Draft, most of the team’s selections were defensive backs, most notably first-rounder Trent McDuffie out of Washington. He will be a key contributor to this defense in week one as the slot corner. Kansas City also signed a safety in Justin Reid. Reid compares very well to Mathieu even though he is a lot less experienced. He is a very suitable replacement and will be up to the test to lead this young secondary. The rest of the defense stayed mostly the same, with the main concern being the linebackers. This defense will not be the reason that Kansas City makes it back to the Super Bowl. They will have to be a bend not break type of unit while making big plays in key situations.

Review

The Kansas City Chiefs did a great job in fixing up their roster this offseason. They patched most of the necessary holes and will be set to compete in maybe the most competitive conference we have seen in quite some time. The team’s offensive unit will have to do the heavy lifting as they have a very young inexperienced defense. This team does have a Super Bowl ceiling but with the level of talent in the AFC and AFC West alone they will have to fight for every win this year.

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